How would you help someone who doesn’t want your help and doesn’t even help himself?
It’s an impossible scenario right?
This is especially true when you are a family member, partner, or friend of someone who is struggling with addiction. You see this person spiral into destruction: cease grooming himself, becomes buried in debt, lose his job, destroy his family, and generally just become this person whom you don’t know anymore.
Seeing this in someone you care about and love is not only gut-wrenching, but heartbreaking. You may have a mix of overwhelming feelings, such as helplessness, hopelessness, despair, anger, shame, embarrassment, and pure deep concern. While the most common reaction to this is your innate nature to help your loved one in the best way you can, there is a fine line between enabling and actually providing him the help he needs.
But then, he refuses your help.
He doesn’t see that there’s a problem or that he is in fact addicted to drugs or alcohol. Often, he may just not want to stop using or drinking, and doesn’t see any other way to live life than how he has always lived. He may also not want your help because of pride. They may think that they are still in control and that they can stop anytime. They may even come off at you as combative and defensive, further discouraging you to reach out to help them.
While this may be the case for your loved one, you can still help him while refraining from enabling him.
Intervention. You can have family, friends, colleagues, or members of your church to get involved and conduct an intervention. Just make sure that the people that you involve are those that are close to him and that he will also be comfortable around with.
During this intervention, you confront the person about his problems and how it affects him and the people who care about him. This confrontation must be set in a conducive environment away from distractions and embarrassment, and the people doing the intervention should keep in mind to avoid being condemning or accusatory.
Tips for conducting an intervention:
- provide specific scenarios or examples that give him an idea of how his behavior and habit affect other people, especially his loved ones
- offer to help him get treatment and give him an overview of the goals and guidelines that he must undertake while in treatment
- discuss what the person will face as consequences should he refuse to be treated
Interventions can greatly be persuasive for him, especially if at first he is hesitant to get help because he thinks he does not have a problem. It will also be even more effective when there is also a professional present, such as a psychologist, mental health worker, or intervention specialist.
If you need help for yourself or your loved one, or if you need to create an intervention, let us know. We’ll be here to guide you every step of the way.